Harmonize Fitness
menu
Harmonize Fitness

health

Diet

What is the best diet?

10-BEST DIET
views
38

How many hours have you spend trying to find the best diet? You may have been searching the internet, read magazines, ask as many people as possible including friends, family, your doctor or health care professional you nutritionist or dietitian, etc.

Many of us spend too much time searching for the best diet to achieve our fitness goal, and just a couple of weeks or days after we start following one we find another so we don´t stay long enough with one diet to actually see how our body responds.

The truth is that there´s not a best diet for all of us, not a single diet will work the same and will give the same results to 2 or more people, we´re all different so we need to find what works best for us.

Even when the basics of nutrition apply to all, we still need to make some adjustments to create our own diet or nutrition program.

The first things to consider is to focus on eating whole, fresh foods and eliminate or avoid unhealthy foods like sweets, junk, processed, refined and fast foods is the first step. We´ve talked a lot about how refined sugar and refined carbohydrates are unhealthy and also how seed oils and trans fats are also unhealthy so by eliminating processed and refined foods you eliminate these unhealthy ingredients. Once you feel comfortable and you´ve develop the habit of eating healthy whole foods you can start making some adjustments to make your nutrition program better.

The second step is to decide which type of diet or which macronutrient ratio works best for you, you may want to follow a more balanced diet between proteins, fats and carbohydrates or you may want to follow a low carbohydrate-high protein or you may want a ketogenic diet, for this you need to make the adjustments necessary and set macro ratios according to our diet.

For a keotgenic diet fats can go from 70% to 75% with 10% to 5% of carbohydrates and the rest of protein, or you can follow a modified keto where you can have 60% fats 30% protein and 10% carbohydrates.

You also need to listen to your body and be aware of how it responds and how you feel with everything you eat, for some of us our body can´t digest or use properly some foods including healthy foods, for example some people can´t digest properly foods like cauliflower which can cause bloating or other side effects or some people can get allergic response to some foods like dairy so you need to pay attention to this and avoid them. There are so many food options available from where you can choose from for each of the 3 macronutrients.

If you consider the function of each macronutrient the best diet is one that focuses on real, fresh ingredients and avoid all unhealthy foods (sweets, junk, processed and fast foods) if you want to go to a more restrictive diet then a ketogenic or modified keto. One that is high in healthy fats, with the right amount of fiber, moderate protein and low carbohydrates. This type of diet will help to lose fat and maintain a healthy weight if this is your goal.

If you want to go even deeper and think about how your body works then you need to focus on micronutrients also which for me is the best way to go. Your body needs vitamins, minerals, amino-acids and fatty-acids, from here you need to think about each vitamin, each mineral, each amino-acid and fatty-acid here you need to consider the amount your body needs of each then you can look for foods that contain those nutrients and choose the ones you like more. This is what I consider nowadays for my diet 80% of the time (I also love some unhealthy foods and snacks so I have 20% free for those 😊). When you focus on nutrients you´re giving your body what it needs while enjoying life a lot more, you understand how everything works and you have more options from where to choose from so you eat foods you like and you can eat until you´re full so you don´t feel hungry.

You need to make sure that the diet or nutrition program is one that you can follow for long periods of time, for the rest of your life actually. This includes going out with friends or family, going on vacations or a job meeting or trip, someone cook for you or you cook your own meals. You need to consider all this and think about if you´re going to be able to maintain it in the long run and realize that you can still have your favorite meals, dishes or cheat meals every now and then (if there´s a way to prepare your favorite meal and dessert you can enjoy it a lot more).

It´s all about understanding how food works and how your body use it to maintain optimal health and support your fitness goals. When you understand how things work it´s easier to make healthier decisions knowing that you have the freedom to enjoy your favorite meals, snacks and desserts. It´s about feeling and looking great while having balance.

Let us know by leaving a comment on Twitter what diets have you followed and what where your results.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

Why lack of sleep can make you gain weight

DSC_0497_fix
views
50

If you want to make your weight loss journey easier and maintain a lean physique then you need to pay attention to the quality and quantity of sleep.

We´ve mentioned before that weight loss is not only about calories, in fact it is more about hormones and metabolism and sleep plays a huge role on maintaining all hormones and systems on your body in balance. Lack of sleep has a negative impact on your brain and body, this include your weight.

There´s so much research and studies done about the relationships between sleep and weight and it´s clear that when you don´t get enough high quality sleep you gain weight or at least it is harder for you to stay on track, the reason for this is hormones.

Some hormones regulate your hunger and appetite, these hormones are leptin and ghrelin, when leptin is up you have less cravings and you eat less, when ghrelin is up you have more cravings and you eat more. With lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep leptin decreases and ghrelin increases this is why it is harder to avoid unhealthy foods and to follow a diet when you didn´t get enough high-quality sleep.

Lack of sleep increases cravings for the unhealthy foods you need to avoid, highly processed and refined foods that are loaded with sugars, trans fats and unhealthy oils and if you eat them you´ll get into a cycle that is hard to leave thanks to the signals this food sends to your body including your brain. We also need to consider that you not only have cravings for unhealthy foods and in most cases you´ll end up eating them, you also tend to eat more.

Lack of sleep or poor sleep make you feel tired, without energy to exercise so chances are you´ll skip the work out of the day and if you don´t exercise, you eat unhealthy foods and you eat more you have the recipe to gain weight.

If your body is working properly and everything is in balance it´s really simple to lose weight and maintain optimal health and also maintain a healthy weight and to keep all hormones and systems in balance you need to make sure that your diet is sending the right messages to your body and enough high quality sleep makes this possible in an easier way.

Leptin and ghrelin are just two of the hormones, there are other hormones like growth hormone and insulin that also play an important role on weight and optimal health. There are studies that show that one night of poor sleep increases insulin and when insulin is high then you don´t burn fat. For a healthy weight loss and to make it sustainable you need to make sure that you are losing fat and maintaining lean muscle mass, insulin blocks fat burn.

One night of poor sleep takes all hormones out of balance which makes it impossible to lose weight and if it is chronical the negative impacts are worse.

On future posts we´ll talk about why weight loss is not about self-control and will power, it´s about making sure that your body works properly, this means that you need to improve your health, to maintain optimal health you need to develop certain healthy habits and routines which includes enough high quality sleep, this is key to make sure that all hormones are working properly which is what makes your weight loss possible in a simple, effortless and enjoyable way.

Finding ways, tools and strategies that help you get enough high quality sleep is important, having a sleep schedule, exercising especially in the morning, using breathing techniques are some of the tools you can use to improve sleep.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you had pay attention at how you feel after a night of poor sleep, have you realized that you eat less, that you have more cravings and you more?

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Stress

The impact of stress on our health

DSC_0098
views
58

When we talk about health and we want to make some changes we start with food and exercise but, stress plays a huge role on improving and maintaining optimal health. If you want to take your health seriously then you need to know some of the impacts stress has.

We´ve know that some stress is good, is beneficial for our body and we need it to maintain optimal health and get stronger but, the problem is with chronic stress because it takes almost all hormones and systems of our body out of sync and when they´re out of sync our body is not working properly and this leads to health problems.

We´ve talk on other posts about what is stress and the types of stress, we´ve also mentioned that food can increase stress by harming the gut bacteria. Stress has an impact on our gut, hormones, inflammation levels and all this creates a cascade of positive or negative effects on our body and brain.

From the moment you wake up to the moments you go to sleep you´re running from one activity to another even if they´re all routines you follow to get to school or job, get your homework and projects done, go to meetings, have lunch, come back home and every single day is full of stressful situations this type of stress is toxic for your body and since you go under this stress every day it gets chronic keeping it high for long periods of time and this is what leads to most visits to the doctor.

We can increase stress in our bodies in so many different ways, from what we eat, to the quality of sleep we get, from our environment, social media, news. Being surrounded by negativity including negative people. Since stress can be increased in so many ways it can seem impossible to escape from it but when you realize that it affects your hormones and systems and it may the cause of you not being able to function at your best then you can start taking actions.

We know that stress is a response from our body to keep us safe, this is how our ancestors survived but nowadays it´s constant and this constant stress affects our gut, our hormones and increase inflammation. It can affect our gut directly by the food we eat, if we eat healthy nutritious food then it can use all those nutrients and send them to the right places on our body, it regulates metabolism and also neurotransmitters which is why food affects our mood.

Stress also has an impact on our hormones it increases cortisol and adrenaline which can lead anxiety if it stays high chronically, when cortisol is high oxytocin is low, oxytocin is the love hormone and this imbalance in hormones can lead to problems with relationships.

Chronic inflammation is linked to chronic diseases and inflammation is a response of chronic stress, it´s the defense that our immune system sends to defend our body from bacteria, virus or stress.

It´s clear that stress has a highly negative impact on all hormones and systems of our body so we need to focus and work on lowering it to maintain optimal health. One great way to reduce stress is exercise, breathing exercises are also helpful, stop watching the news all day and reduce the time you spend on social media. Another way is to stay focus on the activity you have at hand and live in the present, stress also comes from staying mentally on the past which leads to depression and thinking about the future which leads to anxiety so focus on staying in the present moment.

Stress is also created on our mind, our mind creates and all kind of thought and most of them are not real, what you focus on is how you feel and what you attract so if you catch your mind thinking on the future and creating worries or if it´s stuck in the past bring it to the present and take a couple of minutes to do some breathing exercises to calm you down and don´t forget to exercise at least 5 days a week and make sure you get high quality sleep every night.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you know what´s the biggest cause of stress in your life and what strategy or tool is the one you use to lower it.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

The negative impact of a sedentary lifestyle

DSC_0417_fix
views
89

If you are obese or overweight or if you are struggling with your body then you are living the negative impacts of a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle in an exponential way but, in fact all of us who are sedentary are affected negatively by it.

Being sedentary is one of the 2 principal causes of so many health problems, I consider it to be a disease itself. As humans, we´re not designed to spend hours sitting or lying in front of a computer, on the couch or in the car, the human body is designed to be active, to keep moving and doing all kinds of different physical activities, we´re meant to move.

For the past years technology has become a huge part of our lives and with it a lot of health problems. We´re a lot more sedentary compared to some years ago, we travel by car  to the school, office, mall, grocery shopping and we do everything we can to get the closest spot possible to the door some of us even wait for that close spot. We use electric stairs and elevator, we spend hours sitting in front of a computer or any electronic device doing homework or our job, we spend hours sitting in the couch watching movies or tv shows.

We´re very lazy and we avoid all sacrifices, suffering and struggle but, with time we struggle even more with the health problems we got to deal with all of them caused by our unhealthy and sedentary lives.

We all spend too much time sitting and we´re all looking for ways to spend even more time sitting and avoid all kind of effort, we´re want to feel good now without thinking of the future, we want instant gratification and satisfaction without thinking of the negative consequences in the future.

By being more sedentary we are avoiding all suffering, effort and sacrifices now, we got instant satisfaction and gratification but this leads to health problems in the short and long run. When we spend too much time sitting, the hormones, systems, genes and metabolism of our body start to work inefficiently. They start reducing activity and turning off so we not only burn less calories but our body is not working as it should. This leads to metabolic and chronic diseases.

Being sedentary also leads to an unhealthy cycle that includes unhealthy diets and unhealthy sleep patterns. Lack of physical activity can cause poor quality sleep and when we don´t get enough high quality sleep the hormones that regulate appetite are our f sync so we tend to eat more especially of the unhealthy foods, when we overeat we´re in a bad mood and we don´t have the energy to exercise or do physical activity. One night of poor sleep also impacts negatively insulin and this hormone makes us store fat, all this creates a negative cycle that is hard to stop.

The biggest negative impact of being sedentary is the negative cycle it creates including quality and quantity of sleep, stress levels, quality and quantity of food. We cannot forget the fact that the 5 principles of fitness they all work together not only to help you lose weight and keep it off but to improve and maintain optimal health.

We´re not only talking about people who is obese or overweight, the impact of being sedentary goes for all of us, even skinny girls and guys. There are 3 simple steps you can take today to stop being sedentary and start being more active throughout the day:

1.- Be aware of how much time you spend sitting and what you are doing most of the time.

2.- When you catch yourself checking your phone or social media stop it and get up, go for a short walk, do some stretching, do some physical movement. Just standing up is a great way to start breaking that sedentary pattern.

3.- Stand up and go for a walk every hour or every 2 hours.

Do what you can but you need to start by being aware of what you do on a daily basis, how you send most of the time and for how long you stay in the same position, if it´s sitting or lying on bed or the couch and start changing that.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Stress

Stress and hormones

DSC_0104
views
60

Chronic stress is toxic for our body and brain, we ask so much of our body when we don´t treat it the right way. How do we want it to function properly and to keep us healthy when we keep giving it toxins? From the food we eat, lack of sleep, lack of exercise and excessive amounts of stress.

I´ve mentioned before that chronic stress has a negative impact on our body and health, you can think about this type of stress as a toxin for your body and brain. Our body needs to be in balance, all hormones and system needs to be in sync if we want it to be at its best so that we can perform at our best. Chronic stress takes all hormones and systems of our body out of balance, it affects negatively the quality and quantity of sleep, it takes our gut out of balance, it can increase inflammation.

School and jobs can be really stressful, especially if you are bullied, if your classmates make fun of you, if your teachers don´t care about what´s happening and it´s worse when they don´t like your project and your work in general. We all spend too much time worrying, if we think about we all have a never ending list of things we can be worried about and they all makes us feel anxious and this leads to chronic stress.

We live in a very stressful world, we go through a lot of stressful situation during the day the problem is that this stressful situations are not life threatening, they are created by worries and anxiety, our mind is great at creating a whole scenario for every situation always presenting the worst outcome, the most negative results we can get and this triggers the stress response.

You may know by now that stress triggers a hormone called cortisol, it raises adrenaline when you have high levels of stress you have high levels of cortisol, when cortisol is elevated some systems stop working and other hormones get out of sync, it raises blood sugar, this how your body is supposed to react under stress to keep you alive.

One of the hormones that get out of sync is oxytocin. When cortisol is high oxytocin is low, oxytocin is the love hormone, it controls our behavior and interaction with other people. This may be one of the causes of relationship issues.

Lowering stress will not only improve your health, it may also improve your relationships so here are some steps you can take today to lower stress:

1.- Do not believe all negative thoughts that come to mind. Usually we tend to focus on the negative and think about the worse scenario so instead of focusing on the negative stay on the present moment and see the situation from a different perspective. Ask yourself what can go right and how can you achieve that positive outcome?

2.- Practice breathing exercises like mindful breathing and when you are under a stressful situation stop for a moment and take some deep breathes.

3.- Stop worrying about everything.

How you respond during stressful situations play a huge role on how they will impact you, having a more optimistic attitude and perspective is one way to keep stress low. Being in the present moment also helps it keeps you concentrated on reality on what´s really happening and avoid thinking about the future in a negative way. It´s about what´s really happening right now and what can you do to get a positive result. This is so hard to do because we´ve been surrounded by negativity so many years and we´ve let our mind take control, we´ve let our mind and body react instead of stopping and taking some time to breathe so that we are able to think consciously and make a better decision which lower stress in that moment and give you better results in the long run.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you have a long list of worries and if you let your mind react when you are under stress.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

Can we make it through the day with little sleep?

DSC_0412_fix
views
66

We know that sleep is crucial for optimal health, but you may know someone who doesn´t sleep that much, someone who seems to do okay and go through the day while little sleep but is this possible?

First, I need to mention that we´ve all been through certain situations and days where we need to get by with little to no sleep but, this does not mean it´s optimal. Getting enough high-quality sleep is important, we need at least 6 hours of sleep every night and we need to make sure that those 6 hours are high quality.

We´ve talked on other posts about the negative impact of poor or lack of sleep, you can see some of them right the next day for example feeling tired, hard to concentrate and focus on what you are doing, cravings for unhealthy foods increase and on the long run it can lead to weight gain, diabetes and chronic diseases.

Considering the lifestyle that most of us follow which is going to school or job and sometimes, more often than not we can´t get the 7 or 8 hours recommended then you need to find tools that can help you go by with little sleep and this includes working on the other 4 principles of fitness especially food, exercise and stress, mindset is also important.

When you don´t get enough sleep your concentration, productivity and performance are negatively impacted. Unfortunately, most of us can´t get by with little sleep and create works of art.

There are some steps you can take that will help you get by with little sleep but first there are some questions or points you need to consider and ask yourself to make sure that you can´t get more sleep:

1.- Think if you really need to skip sleep. Is the reason why you´re getting little sleep really more important than sleep? There are people who get little sleep because they binge on their favorite tv show. This is a huge mistake, sleep is your priority. If the reason why is because of a school project or job then make that project a priority but, do make sure it´s not every night.

2.- Ask yourself why you are getting little sleep. It may be because of a sleep problem like insomnia, sleep apnea or other. It may be because you can´t fall asleep. On these cases you need to figure out why you can´t fall asleep and the sleep problem and work on them. You may need to see a specialist to help.

Now, there are some steps you can take that will help you improve your day and get by with little sleep:

1.- Get sunlight in the morning.

2.- Drink water, it will help you stay hydrated so you don´t feel tired and exhausted.

3.- Get physical activity, if you can get up and take a walk for a couple of minutes every 1 or 2 hours it will help.

4.- Take a nap. It will help you feel more focused, increase energy and less tired.

Even when I don´t recommend little sleep this steps are helpful for those days and situations when you really can´t get enough sleep but make sure that it´s not something that happens every week or worse, every day.

Having a sleep schedule helps you improve the quality of sleep and this is highly important, if you are going to get low quantity you need to make sure that it´s high quality and for this you need to set and alarm clock and wake up at the same time every morning. It doesn´t matter if it´s weekday or weekend you need to wake up at the same time.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you like to sleep less and want to get by with and how do you feel when you get more sleep.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Why sitting is a disease

DSC_0420_fix
views
99

How much time do you spend sitting?

It doesn´t matter if it´s on the couch, in the car, at the office in front of a computer. How much time do you spend sitting each day?

One of the biggest problems we´re facing nowadays is the obesity epidemic, being obese or overweight or having some weight to lose leads to many other health problems and there are 2 culprits for this. Unhealthy diets and a sedentary lifestyle.

There are so many diets and so many different weight loss programs but obesity and overweight keep increasing. What frustrates me is that the industries keep making everything harder to keep you eating all the junk food and keeping you lazy while they keep making millions.

It´s actually really simple to lose weight, keep it off, improve your health and maintain optimal health and a healthy weight that considers body composition, it all comes down to eating the right foods, in the right amount at the right time and being more active throughout the day.

And I need to say that if you go to the gym or have some time of your day schedule to train, or work out it´s not enough.

The problem is sitting for too long, when you sit for too long the hormones, genes and systems in your body stop working properly, especially your metabolism and blood glucose. It´s obvious that the more time you spend sitting the less calories you´ll burn. So, if you are more sedentary because you spend too much time sitting and if you eat the wrong foods, at wrong time in the wrong amount then your body won´t work properly. This lead to metabolic disorders and it´s the cause of many health problems we´re seeing now that start with obesity, overweight, diabetes but it can get worse with problems like heart disease, dementia and cancer. Sitting for too long also leads to organ damage, spine damage, muscle loss, leg disorders, bad posture, short life span.

Many people think that by working out, going to the gym and doing some exercise there that´s all they need to stay in shape and maintain optimal health, this is wrong. Even when going to the gym and lifting weights has so many benefits that play a key role on optimal health and longevity and you´ll also look great and feel great that´s only one part. Going to the gym and lifting weights or doing some resistance training for one hour is great but it leaves you with 23 hours left and what you do on those 23 hours is also important.

Technology has done things easier, we want instant gratification, we want to be lean and healthy without any sacrifice but sadly this is not possible, we´re not designed to be sedentary, to spend long hours sitting and it´s causing a lot of damage to our body but, there are different options to increase physical activity but it all starts with you, being aware of how much you spend sitting and deciding to change that.

If you sit for longer than 60 minutes stand up and do some physical activity for a couple of minutes, you can walk, do some stretching, go up or down stairs. Also find ways to increase physical activity any chance you have by parking as far as possible from the entrance when you go shopping to the mall or groceries, from the entrance of your office or school, use the stairs instead or elevator, if you´re going a place nearby walk or use the bike.

Remember that your workouts are one part of this big puzzle of fitness but it doesn´t replace physical activity. And also remember that the longer you´re sitting the more damage you do to your metabolism and all other genes, hormones and systems of your body.

Tracking daily steps is a great tool to make sure that you´re active throughout the day. While some people argue the benefits of getting 10,000 steps all at once or dividing them into small walks throughout the day in my opinion it´s harder for all of us to schedule some time to get those 10,000 steps all at once and from what I´ve research and found and what I´m sharing on this post you don´t need to get 10,000 steps all at once, it´s better to spread them throughout the day. You don´t need to get obsessed by hitting 10,000 steps daily, use them as a guide, some days you may have more work to do and you may only get 8,000 steps, other days you may get more steps, the whole goal is to get more physical activity. So don´t get obsessed with getting 10,000 steps every single day, just make sure to get as close as possible and always keep in mind that the goal is to be more active and avoid sitting for long periods of time.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

Food and inflammation

8_papitas
views
62

How many times have you find out this year that someone close to you, family or friend or maybe someone you know a classmate or coworker was diagnosed with a chronic disease like Parkinson, Alzheimer´s, Cancer?

Nowadays we´re dealing with so many different chronic diseases to which there´s no real cure so the best step we can take is develop healthy habits that lead to a healthy lifestyle that can help us prevent as many of this diseases as possible.

We know that nutrition is key, food is not only fuel for our body, it´s information, everything we eat sends a signal to our body and that signal can be positive or negative. There´s researching showing that inflammation plays a key role on our health.

Even when inflammation is good, too much of it or chronic inflammation has a negative impact on our body and health. Inflammation helps our body heal wounds, this type of inflammation is good, it is helpful and we need it but when we follow an unhealthy lifestyle that includes lack or poor quality sleep, chronic stress, lack of exercise, an unhealthy diet all this leads to inflammation and when this happens over and over which is how we live, it leads to chronic inflammation this is very harmful for our body and cause health problems like insulin resistance, diabetes, and things get worse with diseases like heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer´s, Parkinson, Cancer.

What we eat impacts our gut microbiome (we´re going to talk about this in future posts) every food choice we make has an effect on our body, we know that unhealthy foods are bad for us but it ends there, we don´t ask ourselves what´s happening with the food we eat.

Unhealthy foods like highly refined and processed foods, fast foods that are high in sugars and carbohydrates, unhealthy oils, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, and many other added ingredients create inflammation. Your body and brain need specific nutrients for overall health, we won´t get into detail in this post (we will do as we keep sharing info with you) but your body and brain needs healthy fats, fiber, protein and micronutrients the problem is you´re eating too much of the wrong foods.

There are so many processes going on in your body every second and every choice you make has an impact, positive or negative depending on your choice healthy or unhealthy, respectively. Since inflammation is linked to chronic diseases and since there´s no treatment you need to focus on preventing them and for this you need to focus on lowering inflammation on your body. When I say lowering inflammation, I mean the harmful type of inflammation which is the one causing problems.

You can start making healthy choices today to start living a better life and improve your health, here are some steps you can take today:

1.- Avoid unhealthy foods.- We all know which ones, sweets, junk, highly processed and refined foods, fast foods. With this we want to avoid refined and processed foods loaded with sugars, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, vegetable oils, seed oils and added ingredients, etc.

2.- Choose whole foods, focus on consuming healthy fats, protein and healthy carbohydrates.

3.- Keep your carbs low.

This are 3 simple steps to start changing eating habits but there´s a lot you can do. Your health most be your priority if you want to live an amazing life, you all have the right to enjoy your life as much as possible and live a happy and fulfilled life, this is only possible when you are healthy and lean so that you can focus on your purpose. We will continue sharing information, simple and effective steps you can take to improve your life but at the end it´s up to you to use this information and apply it.

If you want the best for the people around you, for your closest friends and family you need to take time to work on yourself, if you feel great you´ll have the energy to share amazing times and moments with the people you love and care and you can lead by example.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

Sleep and longevity

DSC_0060
views
92

This is the truth, even when I know that sleep plays an important role on maintaining optimal health I would love that I do not need sleep, it would be amazing to go through life without sleeping but this is not possible, actually one of the many benefits of sleep is longevity.

Studies show that getting enough high quality sleep increases longevity, we´ve seen in other posts that there are so many things going on while we sleep, your body and brain are not resting they are actually working hard to make sure that all systems and hormones of your body function right and this leads to optimal health and also boost longevity.

Every morning when you wake up you need to feel renewed and fresh, full of energy to start your day, this means that you had enough high quality sleep and your body and brain were able to work on renewing all systems and hormones, sleep helps maintain everything in balance but you also need to make sure that the internal clock of your body or circadian rhythm is in sync because this is what helps you fall asleep fast, get enough high quality sleep and it also helps your body know when it´s time to sleep and do all the cleaning, repairing and growing job and when it´s time to be awake and alert.

Chronic sleep problems have shown to have a negative impact on overall health, weight an longevity, with just one night of poor sleep you can see the negative impact during the day it´s clear that on the long run this will affect our health.

If you get enough high quality sleep every night which means that you have a good night schedule then you´re making sure that your body is working as best as possible keeping all functions, systems and hormones in balance which leads to optimal health and this optimal health leads to longevity.

To get the most benefits from sleep the best step you can take is to go to sleep when the sun comes down and wake up when the rise which for most of us is impossible to do, we are not able to get the 8 hours recommended because of work and all the activities we need to get done during the day. So, making sure that the quantity of sleep you can get every night is high quality.

You also need to consider that too much sleep also has a negative impact, too much of a good thing can be counterproductive. I don´t thing that all of us need 7 to 8 hours of sleep, if we consider that sleep goes in cycles then the math is not right for me (we´ll talk about this on other post), I think it all comes down to lifestyle and even genetics. The best way to know if you´re getting enough high-quality sleep is by being aware of how you feel the next day and your health. Listening to your body always wins.

Everything we do on this site is to help you improve your health and maintain optimal health and a healthy weight which helps you reach your full potential without burning out and increase longevity. This is why we focus on the 5 principles of fitness, exercise, food, sleep, stress and mindset are all important but since sleep makes sure that all hormones and systems on our body are on balance this is why some people consider sleep to be the most important. If you didn´t get enough high-quality sleep you´re cravings for unhealthy foods increase and you make unhealthy choices, you don´t have energy to exercise, it´s easier for you to get stressed and this leads to a negative and unhealthy cycle.

If you want to boost your longevity makes sure that the amount of sleep you can get every night is high-quality, you may need to make some changes on your night routine like turning off all lights and electronic devices 30 minutes before going to bed, making sure that your room is dark and at the temperature is right.

There are simple steps you can take for the 5 principles of fitness to help you improve your day and life, we´ll continue sharing with you tips and strategies you can take to improve sleep but, if there´s something you want to know leave your comments and questions down below and on Twitter that way we know what´s the best content to create and to help you.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

The problem with refined sugar

11_azucar
views
141

Different diets come out and become viral, some guys try them while other critique them claiming they´re unhealthy, but millions of people consume high amounts of sugar per day and it seems to be the least of the matter.

Obesity and overweight are increasing and with that diseases like diabetes are raising too. I believe the cause of this problems is our lifestyle and one of them is the amount of unhealthy food we eat which has a lot of sugar and unhealthy oils. Sugar is everywhere even when it´s not listed as sugar in the ingredients, we´ll find it under names like dextrose or sucrose and many others. Other ingredients like high fructose corn syrup is also harmful and is in so many products. The amount of sugar contained in foods is so high and I´m not only talking about sweets or junk food, even in energetic drinks, cereals or healthy bars. Vegetable and seed oils are also a huge problem because they are found in so many processed and refined foods.

When you eat foods high in sugar, unhealthy oils and trans fats you´ll want to continue eating more of them because they are empty calories, there are no nutrients and there´s no way to stop your brain of thinking or sending signals that you are hungry until you give it the nutrients it needs.

This is what happens when you eat sugar, insulin is the hormone that regulates sugar by getting glucose out of the bloodstream to the cells, when you consume sugar the glucose in the bloodstream goes up and insulin goes up to regulate it and bring it down, over time your body gets tired and don´t know exactly what to do and the result is low blood sugar, this is the first step to diabetes, many people are on this level and don´t know it, your body sends  signals like cravings specially for sweets, everything we eat has an effect on your health and mood.

The spike of highly processed foods with hidden sugar is creating an obesity epidemic in many countries, around 30% to 40% of kids in some countries are overweight or have obesity and diabetes as they grow older the risk increases, diseases get worse and in some cases lead to death. The amounts of sugar consumed per day goes between 25 to 30 teaspoons a day sometimes even 35 teaspoons, that´s a lot considering that our bodies don´t need it.

I believe we can prevent some diseases and lower obesity and overweight by changing our lifestyle and developing healthy habits, just by changing what we eat the benefits are amazing, it´s not only about reducing calories, it´s about what we eat and the impact it has on our body and health.

As I´ve said before, this high amounts of sugar in our diets with the high amounts of unhealthy fats and oils plus the chemicals or ingredients added to those foods are the cause of many diseases and create a vicious cycle that is so hard to stop. We´re addicted to them.

The goal is to avoid as much as possible all unhealthy food, avoid sweets, junk, processed, refined and fast food and stick with real, whole fresh food, just by doing this the results in how you feel and how you look will be amazing.

There´s no reason to try to follow a very restrictive diet like low carbohydrate, ketogenic or any other if we still eat junk or fast food, once you eliminate or avoid this foods then you can start adjusting your nutrition program to make it better for you.

If you want to live healthier and happier and help all the people around you, you need to change what you eat and eating healthy food is the first step, reducing sugar and unhealthy oils is a most, they are the cause of many diseases now a days, but it´s hard to do. We´ve been consuming sugar for almost all our life so when we start to eliminate it from our diet our mind will trick us making us think that we need it, it´s like giving up any other addiction.

Even if you´re not following any famous diet like ketogenic or high protein, vegetarian, etc; when you eliminate or avoid as much as possible sweets, junk, processed and fast food from your nutrition you start living healthier and the results will come. There are some healthy carbohydrates you can eat which I´ll explain in other post, but for now, and to keep things simple you just need to know and understand that processed sugar is bad so you need to eliminate it from your nutrition program for your health and fitness goals, the best way to do it is by avoiding sweets, junk, processed and fast foods.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on if most of what you eat is whole fresh food or unhealthy highly processed foods.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam